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The End of SAP Business One 9.3 Maintenance: Your Complete Guide to the SAP B1 Roadmap, Updates, and Timeline for New Releases

By Ryan Howe

Mainstream maintenance for SAP Business One 9.3, both for MS SQL and SAP HANA, ended on June 30th, 2020. Patch level 14 was released in the middle of June 2020 and marked the last patch update for SAP Business One 9.3 all up. While SAP will continue to provide 3rd level support, enhancements and corrections will no longer be implemented in release 9.3. As a result, SAP B1 customers should be looking at upgrading to release 10.0, where the entirety of new features and fixes will be.  

Alongside a more intuitive user interface and the introduction of several modern features, SAP Business One 10.0 includes a web client focused on creating, processing, and updating Sales Quotes, Sales Orders, A/R Deliveries, and A/R Invoices – with sophisticated analytic capabilities. Chances are, you’ll want to make a move to SAP Business One 10.0 sooner rather than later so you can enjoy the benefits of a harmonized user experience and prevent any interruptions in data, operations, third-party add-ons, or system access from a phased out version.  

What is Level 3 Support, and What is in the Last Release of SAP Business One 9.3? 

Here is a look at the highlights for what Patch 14 for SAP Business One 9.3 included: 

Administration: 

  • Authorization Simplification 
  • Import from Excel Updates 
  • Approval Procedure Enhancements 
  • Quick Copy & DTW supports Additional Objects 
  • My Settings Support 
  • Change Log Clean-up Utility 
  • Multi-Branch Supports Data Ownership 
  • Multi-Branch Filtering & Transaction Updates 
  • License Updates 
  • HTML based Online Help 

Business Intelligence: 

  • Analytical Portal (SAP HANA) 
  • Pervasive Analytics Designer Update (SAP HANA) 
  • New Cockpit Templates (SAP HANA) 
  • Crystal Reports – Default Elements for Translations 

Data Protection: 

  • GDPR – Data Privacy and Protection 

Sales | Purchasing | Service: 

  • Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) 
  • Gross Price Redesign* 
  • Price List Updates 
  • Campaign Management Updates 
  • Blanket Agreement Enhancements 
  • Electronic AP Invoice Updates 
  • CRM Simplification 

Financial Management: 

  • Internal Cost Accounting Transactions 
  • Centralized Payment Engine 
  • Chart of Accounts Alignment & Usability 
  • G/L Account Determination Matrix Updates 
  • New IFRS 15 Revenue Recognition Standard* 
  • Scheduled Batch Transactions for Payments 
  • Electronic File Layout Templates 

Production: 

  • Simple Production Routing 

Inventory | Distribution: 

  • UoM Batch Selection 

Project Management Updates 

Platform: 

  • Web-Based Workflow Management 
  • Company-Specific Mailer Configuration 
  • New DI/UI Objects Exposure & Enhancements 
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 
  • X-App Supports Single Sign-On 
  • Optimized Login Connection 
  • Electronic File Manager support on Linux 
  • Performance Optimization 
  • Improved Security 
  • Integration Framework 2.0 Enhancements 
  • Integration Framework 2.0 Mapping Tool 

Lifecycle Management: 

  • Centralized Deployment 
  • Embedded Incident Reporting 
  • System Landscape Directory Enhancements 
  • Remote Support Platform 3.2 Updates 

As mentioned, this Patch 14 SAP B1 update was the last for version 9.3. Your SAP Business One partner may be able to provide personalized support for your SAP system; however, you’ll likely be encouraged to upgrade while SAP starts to limit or eliminate documentation, fixes, and enhancements. Moreover, third-party applications you may rely on that are integrated with SAP B1 often stop testing and building further compatibility with older versions. 

From SAP itself, here is what the end of mainstream maintenance means: 

  • No new patches or hotfixes 
  • No additional legal and non-legal requirements 
  • No functional enhancements and technology updates 
  • Limited proactive/reactive remote checks or services 
  • No customer-specific task delivery 
  • No corrections for newly discovered issues 
  • Limited escalation handling  

SAP will continue to offer Level 3 Support for SAP Business One 9.3, which includes: 

  • Analyze all incident-related data in detail 
  • Analyze and reproduce the reported incident 
  • May access customers system for analysis or to apply a workaround or fix with the partner 
  • Request a copy of the customer database if required 
  • Suggest a workaround or fix 
  • Assist the customer to apply workaround or fix 
  • Create new/update existing SAP Notes/documentation 
  • Determine the planned correction timelines and deliveries 

If you want to learn more about the details of each enhancement and fix in SAP Business One 9.3 and get a better understanding of what Level 3 support will provide as the mainstream maintenance ends, you can request it here.  

Fresh Face: Introducing SAP Business One 10.0 and the Web Client  

With SAP Business One 10.0 (SAP B1 10.1) presenting the web client and adding a slew of new features for administration, financial management, and Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365) integration, you’ll likely be motivated to jump over the 9.3 Patch 14 altogether and go straight to 10.0. The new web client is based on SAP Fiori design principles, encapsulating SAP Business One core processes and business logic alongside an advanced user experience.  

In addition to the usability, sustainability, and advanced capabilities of SAP B1 10.0, you’ll still pick up where 9.3 left off. In other words, you aren’t missing anything. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the release highlights for SAP Business One 10.0: 

Web Client: 

  • Release of Web Client for SAP Business One 

Usability: 

  • New Skin Style (SAP HANA) 
  • Enhanced User Interface 
  • Alignment of Form Behavior 
  • User Name in License & Add-On Administration 

Administration: 

  • Support Expiration Date 
  • Enhancements in Document Printing 
  • Referenced Document Enhancements 
  • Support Attachments Tab in Additional Objects 
  • Increased Field Lengths 
  • Enhancements in Approval Process 
  • Tab-Level Authorizations in Master Data 

Financial Management: 

  • Drill Down to G/L Accounts in Financial Reports 
  • Posting Periods Enhancements 
  • Extend Journal Entry Remarks to 254 Chars 
  • New UK (Brexit) Localization 

Sales | Purchasing | Service: 

  • Backorder Report Enhancements 
  • Printing Service Calls & Contracts 
  • Hide Blank Lines in Addresses 
  • Add Button Extended in Marketing Documents 
  • Enhanced Open Items List Report 
  • Editing UDFs in Document Rows After the Document 
  • was Added or Closed 
  • Display Business Partner Address UDF with 
  • Marketing Document Address User Defined Fields 
  • EU PEPPOL E-Invoicing 

Project Management: 

  • Interactive Gantt Chart 

Inventory | Distribution: 

  • Serial & Batch Numbers Management 
  • Ability to change UoM Group of an item 

Production: 

  • Bill of Materials (BoM) Description Enhancements 
  • Drill Down from BoM to Item Master Data 

Platform | Extensibility: 

  • Service Layer Enabled for Microsoft SQL Server 
  • Service Layer Configuration UI (SAP HANA) 
  • Formatted Search Supports Multiple Triggers 
  • Extend UDF Support to Additional Objects 
  • Microsoft Office 365 Integration 
  • 64-bit support Only 
  • GateKeeper (Browser Access) Service 
  • SAP HANA 2.0 Platform Adoption 
  • Support SLES 15 
  • Additional System Types (SAP HANA) 
  • Remote Support Platform 3.2 (SAP HANA) 
  • SAP HANA 2.0 Platform Adoption (SAP HANA) 
  • DI API and Service Layer Enhancements 

To ensure your move to SAP B1 10.0 is smooth, doesn’t interrupt any business function, and provides streamlined migration with all your reports and integrated applications, you must enlist a skilled, certified partner with SAP Business One Recognized Expertise designation from SAP.  

Looking Ahead – SAP Business One Roadmap  

Now that we have a comprehensive view of what has been released this year, it’s essential to look at the road ahead. Since SAP Business One serves as the primary tool in your business process and operational management, planning your technology journey is imperative to your growth and success. The future of your core business application determines how you can transform business models, re-engineer processes, and reimagine work to compete in the fast-moving and ever-changing market. 

SAP professes to concentrate on four primary areas in their road map to highlight what is to come: 

  • Recent innovations for products that have been launched and can already be purchased. 
  • Planned innovations for products that are intended to be launched in the short term or midterm. 
  • Product direction providing a long-term perspective on high-level development inspired by customer requirements. 
  • Product vision providing a high level and long-term business perspective on innovations.  

Since we covered the recent innovations portion with our overview of SAP Business One 10.0 above, let’s dive right into what is on the horizon: 

Planned Innovations 

Core 

  • Web Client extended sales, purchasing, and analytics functionality 
  • Continuous innovations based on market feedback 
  • Intelligent ERP elements, such as machine learning 
  • Simplified landscape and lower number of components 

Globalization 

  • Advanced localization platform for electronic declarations and electronic documents framework 
  • Integration to the digital compliance platform from SAP and integration to SAP solutions for advanced compliance reporting 
  • EU Intrastat package 
  • Mexico UUID imports on purchasing invoices 
  • India e-billing 
  • Greece e-books 
  • Brazil NF-e 4.0 support 
  • Germany X-Rechnung 
  • EU VAT ID validation and verification 

Analytics 

  • SAP HANA 2.0 features 

Mobile 

  • Service and Sales app for Microsoft SQL Server 

Extensibility 

  • Enhance service layer API 
  • Web Client extensibility 
  • Additional templates for the Integration hub 

Cloud 

  • Staged introduction for regions and countries 
  • Support advanced user authentication 
  • Tenant configuration wizard 

Product Direction and Vision 

Core 

  • Extend Web Client business process coverage 
  • Continuous innovations based on market feedback 
  • Optimized scalability/performance 
  • Simplification of landscape and deployment, support for containerization approach 

Globalization 

  • Enhance existing markets/regions 
  • Integrations to electronic fiscal services 
  • IFRS compliance 

Analytics 

  • Insight to action (data mining) 
  • Predictive, pervasive, and scalable 
  • Built-in content 

Mobile 

  • Continuous innovations based on market feedback 

Extensibility 

  • Enhance service layer API 
  • Enhance web client extensibility 
  • Event service support 
  • Model for partner content in the integration hub 

Cloud 

  • Deeper integration to Microsoft Active Directory  
  • Reduction of TCO 

With a focus on web accessibility, advanced analytics, and cloud deployment, SAP Business One is architected to be an ERP investment customers can make and rely on for the life of their business – from starting small and growing large to everywhere in between.  

SAP’s roadmap also suggests SAP Business One continues to remain one of the more attractive, affordable, and scalable options amongst other cloud, mid-market ERP offerings. Especially when compared to NetSuite, SAP B1 offers a much more flexible platform with quicker, easier deployment and set-up. 

Planning Your Digital Journey with SAP B1 

As SAP Business One Recognized Experts and preferred SAP partners, Clients First has years of expertise and knowledge to help you deploy, upgrade, and tailor SAP B1 to your business needs. There is no one size fits all finance solution or ERP, and our proven methodology ensures that technology is delivered successfully every time. How do we do that? We keep it simple.  

That doesn’t mean your needs or your business aren’t unique and complex – it means we don’t have a desire to inflate your technology project beyond what is necessary to reach your goals. We match solutions to your objectives and find the most straightforward path to success, ensuring your tech is both usable and sustainable long-term.  

Ready to see the Clients First difference?  

Contact us for a demo of the latest version of SAP Business One or to get further details on the features and functions outlined in this article.    

Your best interest is our purpose.  

Ryan Howe

Partner, Clients First Business Solutions New Jersey

Ryan Howe is a Certified Public Accountant turned SAP Business One consultant. Leading the SAP Business One practice at Clients First, Ryan has over 23 years’ experience in the financial management and ERP industry, specializing in business analysis, relationship building, and business process optimization. When he’s not helping customers leverage SAP Business One to meet their short and long-term needs, you can find him at any Michigan State sporting event with his family – go Spartans!